Spotify is becoming an increasingly important player in the world of podcasting. The company’s acquisition of Gimlet Media only added to an already growing repertoire of podcasts.
As well as hosting the best podcasts available, Spotify boasts original podcasts and exclusive podcasts too. Which is what we focus on in this rundown of the best podcasts on Spotify in 2019.
Showstopper is a Spotify original podcast that explores the use of memorable music in TV shows.
The host is The Fader’s Editor-in-Chief, Naomi Zeichner. The episodes generally revolve around her interviewing artists, music supervisors, showrunners, and other members of the production staff who were involved in creating iconic music-meets-screen moments.
Episodes run for about 20 minutes, with a new one released every two weeks.
Former rap artist Joe Budden has hosted a music chat podcast since February 2015. Originally called “I’ll Name This Podcast Later,” the show has ballooned into a media juggernaut in the last couple of years.
The show isn’t short on controversy. There have been public feuds with Eminem, Complex, Offset, Chance The Rapper, Pusha T, and more.
In September 2018, Joe and his co-hosts signed an exclusive deal with Spotify. This means that Spotify is now the only place to grab the latest episodes as they drop twice a week.
Dissect is another music-themed original podcast from Spotify Studios. The premise of Dissect is simple: Pick one album per season and discuss one track on the album per episode.
The first season looked at “To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar. Season 2 discussed “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” by Kanye West, and Season 3 was about Frank Ocean’s “Blonde”.
There’s also been an eight-episode mini-series about “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary.
Microphone Check is one of the best podcasts on Spotify for exploring the boundaries between music and culture. Specifically, this podcast primarily focuses on the interactions between hip-hop and the outside world.
The podcast is chat-based. Co-hosts Frannie Kelley and Ali Shaheed Muhammad interview various guests each week. Kelley is a journalist; Muhammad is one of the founding members of A Tribe Called Quest.
The release schedule is a bit erratic. Sometimes there’s only a week between new episodes, while sometimes you will have to wait a full month.
Fest and Flauschig is a German-language podcast hosted by comedians Jan Böhmermann and Olli Schulz.
We appreciate that many of our readers don’t speak German, but Fest and Flauschig was the most-streamed exclusive Spotify podcast on the entire platform in 2018, so it’s worth mentioning.
If you do speak German, let us know what you think of the show in the comments at the end.
Motorsport fans should check out the new MotoGP Podcast. It is a joint venture between Spotify Studios and Dorna Sports.
The series began in time for the 2019 MotoGP championship. At this early stage, the podcast features an interview with the legendary racer Casey Stoner and a summing up of the pre-season testing in Sepang and Qatar.
7. Are and Be
Are and Be is an R&B Spotify podcast (“Are & Be,” get it?!). The first season was published under the name R&B Matters in 2017. The second series in 2018 saw the name change. The third series will be out later in 2019.
The podcast is supposed to act as a bridge between the people who curate Spotify’s Are & Be playlist and the listening audience; the podcast is managed by Spotify’s Global Head of R&B and Soul.
Today, the Are and Be podcast is a platform for artists on the playlist to share their experiences and stories. Each episode lasts about half an hour.
David’s Out For A Good Time is a Spotify original podcast that’s aimed at the LGBTQ community.
Hosted by David Olshanetsky—the creator of TheShitneySpears.com—the show discusses a range of topics, covering everything from LGBTQ issues to what it was like growing up in the age of the internet. There’s also a healthy dose of pop culture in every episode.
A new episode is available most Tuesdays, though there are occasional short breaks of a couple of months.
9. Under Cover
Under Cover centers on artists who have released cover versions of popular songs.
The podcast delves into the cover songs, as the artist responsible shares the backstory behind the track, along with what inspired them to record the cover and why they chose the musical approach they did.
Features artists have included Shawn Mendes talking about his cover of “Use Somebody,” Meghan Trainor discussing her recording of Sasha Sloan’s “Normal,” and Def Leppard revealing why they recorded Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”.
Amy Schumer is an American stand-up comedian. In June 2018, she launched a new Spotify original podcast called Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith.
Along with Amy, the other three hosts are Rachel Feinstein, Bridget Everett, and Keith Robinson—all three of whom are fellow comedians. The chat show sees them discuss everything from sex and love to politics and the world’s comedy scene.
All four presenters aren’t shy to drop the curtain and reveal highly personal information about themselves, all of which makes for a highly enjoyable show.
There have been two series so far, with the third imminent.
Alternative Ways to Listen to Podcasts
Spotify is up against some stiff competition when it comes to podcast players. Sure, there are some solid reasons to use Spotify (fewer apps on your device, a centralized audio experience, and a simple way to cast your audio to other speakers in your home), but some of the alternatives are unquestionably more feature-rich.